HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Nationally, police academy recruits are at an all-time low.
There may be fewer citizens wanting to be police officers, but the Huntsville Police Academy knew it couldn't let a shortage determine the quality of its cadets.
"The writing's been on the wall for the past several years, that it was going to get tougher and tougher to find those high caliber individuals that were wanting to be part of police work," said police recruiter, Officer Karl Kissich.
The Huntsville Police Department would not lower its standards but knew with fewer applicants, it was time to step up its recruitment game.
"They have to be individuals of integrity, they have to have an absolutely no-quit attitude," Kissich said.
The department's new recruitment campaign-- "A Call To Be The Best" -- is attracting those who think they have what it takes. Recruitment videos like these give recruits a taste of what it means to be a police officer in Huntsville. This was an important and necessary investment for the campaign...and it's working.
"We really wanted to invest in those videos so that we can not only feed [recruits] information but also excite them," Kissich said.
The application process is thorough, but it's the training that sorts out the strongest of mind, body, and heart. High-tech and high-stress simulations prepare officers to think on their feet.
The academy has a driving simulator that puts cadets in simulated situations where they have to respond to emergency calls in all sorts of environments. There are other simulations that are a bit more intense, like a simulator that puts cadets in life-like active shooting situations. They have to know who to shoot and when.
The Huntsville Police Department's standards will remain high, and serving the Huntsville community will always be the prize.
For more information on what it takes to be a Huntsville police officer and a look into what they do on a day-to-day basis, check out the department's new website here: https://www.joinhuntsvillepd.com/